WOW List 2022, the countdown of the most amazing new projects in the world

WOW List 2022, the countdown of the most amazing new projects in the world

WOW List 2022, the countdown of the most amazing new projects in the world

For the first time, all the editors and publishers of Architectural Digest around the world joined forces to celebrate the best new projects located in 12 countries - all designed by talents that appear on our AD100 and AD50 lists.  From experimental homes to challenging artistic spaces, the projects that make up the WOW List are true works of art that elicit a single expression: WOW!

Stock Exchange: Pinault Collection

Luxury mogul François Pinault - founder of Kering (formerly the Gucci Group) - and Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando have created some of the world's most unexpected art spaces by converting classic European buildings into venues for Pinault's contemporary art collection. The duo's latest project gives new life to the Paris Stock Exchange, a circular, glass-domed structure based on their renovation of Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana, both in Venice.

Built in the 16th century for Catherine de Medici, the neoclassical palace was reconceived for the 1889 world's fair. Today, thanks to surgical interventions on the minimalist concrete characteristic of Ando, it is reborn again. A round concrete-clad gallery now traces the curves of the original rotunda, new works by artists of color juxtapose 19th-century murals depicting colonial-era capitalism, and a Michel Bras restaurant offers pristine Parisian views from the rooftop.

Hauser & Wirth Menorca

The latest establishment from the prestigious international broker Hauser & Wirth is a multifaceted and highly immersive art destination. It cleverly reimagines the quarters of an 18th-century naval hospital on the abandoned Isla del Rey, off the coast of the Balearic island of Menorca.

Hauser & Wirth called on Paris-based Argentine architect Luis Laplace to sensitively and sustainably create eight open, airy gallery spaces, as well as an educational laboratory, restaurant and shop, in the original stone-walled, tile-roofed maritime buildings. They now open onto Mediterranean perennial gardens designed by the celebrated Dutch landscape architect Piet Oudolf, along with an outdoor sculpture trail featuring works by great 20th century artists such as Louise Bourgeois and Joan Miró.

Chapel of Sound

Designed to resemble a huge, precariously balanced boulder that has been mysteriously dropped into a mountain valley two hours from central Beijing, the Chapel of Sound expands the possibilities of concert halls. Beijing-based OPEN Architecture, led by Li Hu and Wenjing Huang, crafted the spectacular cantilevered design from concrete mixed with local mineral-rich rocks, allowing it to blend into its surroundings.

As a result, the building's half-covered

music chambers have a primordial, cave-like quality, and their openings let in natural light and offer views of the landscape, dotted with remnants of the Great Wall of China. When the chapel is not being used as a concert hall, its blend of organic and industrial, indoor and outdoor, open and enclosed, makes it an ideal place for quiet contemplation, whether in one of its rooms or on the panoramic rooftop terrace.


Italy - the birthplace of Vitruvius, Palladio, and possibly the ground zero of classical architecture - has taken advantage of the most advanced construction methods to give the world one of its first 3D printed houses. The architect Mario Cucinella, based in Bologna and Milan, has created Tecla (the name of the fictional city of Thekla, by the Italian writer Italo Calvino) with the Italian company WASP, a specialist in 3D printers.

The structure's 1.6-square-meter frame is made entirely of local clay, and its curved walls and vaulted ceilings house a cozy bedroom, a minimally decorated bathroom and living room. With its simple vaulted form and humble materials, the project pays homage to ancient architecture while taking advantage of 21st century technology. It also responds to contemporary issues such as climate change and housing shortages: a Tecla house can be built relatively sustainably and cheaply, all in as little as 200 hours.

LUMA Tower Arles

At first glance, Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry's new building crowning LUMA Arles' nearly 11-hectare arts campus may seem like a strange building planted in a picturesque town in the south of France. But a closer look reveals the local, down-to-earth references the master architect drew inspiration for his aesthetic: the circular glass-and-steel atrium that serves as the structure's base borrows its shape from Arles' ancient two-level Roman amphitheater, while the tower's faceted facade echoes the region's craggy limestone cliffs. And the almost pixelated look of the tower's silvery surface, clad in 11,000 stainless steel panels? It's a nod to the brilliant work of Vincent van Gogh, who painted The Starry Night in nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Startup Lions Campus

Insect habitats may seem unlikely aesthetic inspirations, but Berlin-based studio Kéré Architecture drew on these humble foundations to achieve a surprisingly sophisticated design for the Startup Lions Campus in Kenya. This school of information and communication technologies, designed by Burkina Faso-born architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, is set among acacia trees on the shores of Lake Turkana, and offers 200 young entrepreneurs a free space for training, networking and accommodation.

Its two levels of local stone buildings, clad in terracotta-coloured plaster, feature a series of pergola-shaded terraces and a trio of tall chimney-shaped towers. The latter borrow not only the appearance but also the thermodynamic properties of the earthen termite mounds that dot the region: their angular shape, narrower at the top, draws hot air up and out of the buildings, while openings at the bottom let cool air in.

Shanghai Astronomy Museum

Ennead Architects made its indelible mark on the world of astronomy two decades ago by spectacularly placing a solid white planetarium sphere inside a glowing glass cube at New York's Museum of Natural History. Now comes the 3,900 square meters of twisting curves and complex layers at the Shanghai Astronomy Museum, the world's largest museum dedicated to astronomy.


partner Thomas J. Wong conceived the building's silvery arches and ribbon-like elements to recall the trajectories of celestial bodies in the sky. But the building's three distinctive elements-the open oculus at the entrance, the planetarium sphere peeking over the roof, and an inverted dome that juts into the building-are not just metaphors for the orbs of the universe. Each functions as an actual astronomical device, allowing visitors to follow the sun, moon and stars and observe the sky in new and unexpected ways.

Film Academy Museum

Renzo Piano, winner of the Pritzker Prize, was the perfect architect to take charge of the new museum in Los Angeles for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the United States. Not only is he known for his cultural projects, such as the Menil Collection in Houston or the Whitney Museum in New York, but he is also an accomplished film buff. To create the $482 million, 280-square-meter Academy Museum, Piano oversaw the reuse of the modern-style May Company department store, built in 1939 and now refurbished with galleries. He then combined it with a 10,000-foot-tall, red-carpet-wrapped theater in a newly built, utterly iconic concrete-and-glass sphere inspired by early 20th-century zeppelins. (It has also prompted comparisons to the Death Star from Star Wars). The two buildings are connected by a pair of elegant bridges and the kind of industrial-style exterior staircases that Piano introduced at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

The new Nationalgalerie

Berlin's new Nationalgalerie, an iconic art museum and modernist monument, was one of Mies van der Rohe's last major commissions and the only European building he designed after fleeing Germany before World War II.

Museum of the Future

Dubai's new Museum of the Future stands out even in a city of contemporary architectural and engineering marvels. Shaun Killa of local firm Killa Design conceived the elongated vertical ring shape of the nearly 30,000-square-meter, column-free building to push the boundaries of design.

Cheval Blanc Paris

Many of French luxury goods powerhouse LVMH's coveted brands are inextricably linked to Paris, such as the eponymous Louis Vuitton, along with Celine and Dior. However, the company's hotel brand, Cheval Blanc, until 2021 has never had a property in the City of Light. This fall, AD100 architect Peter Marino unveiled his decadent transformation of the Henri Sauvage building, the 1928 Art Deco department store initially conceived by the designer of the same name as the building. "Our intention was to transform the iconic Parisian building while keeping its design heritage," says Marino, whose update includes rich stone floors, straw marquetry walls and leather-lined elevators with lighting installations by Thierry Dreyfus, plus bronze panels by sculptor Ingrid Donat, a patinated wood and brass reception desk by painter and set designer Thierry Leproust, and a bronze and brass serpentine staircase by François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne. To finish off the look, Marino carefully arranged a number of virtually priceless period furnishings, including pieces by Maria Pergay, Charlotte Perriand and Jean Lurçat.

Humayun's Tomb Museum

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture commissioned architects Pankaj Vir Gupta and Christine Mueller to create this Delhi museum and visitor center on the site of Humayun's Tomb, the 16th-century mausoleum of the second Mughal emperor, which inspired the aesthetic of the Taj Mahal.

Vir Gupta - a professor at the University of Virginia and founder of the Delhi-based architectural firm vir.mueller - drew inspiration for the low-rise structure from the medieval wells of northern India and Mughal design traditions, designing an ingenious system of skylights, courtyards and light wells to channel natural light into the structure's largely subterranean interior. The project will be the first contemporary museum to be built on the grounds of a UNESCO World Heritage site in all of India.

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